Are your employees happy? Dissatisfied workers less satisfied with life

Employee engagement2

Unproductive, demotivated, and poor performing teams are often an indication of unhappy employees.

With the latest figures from Stats NZ showing dissatisfied workers are less likely to be satisfied with life, employers are being encouraged to respond to their team’s needs more than ever before.

Employee engagement, workplace culture, well-being, and employer branding are all areas that employers can develop to improve employee satisfaction.

What the stats say

The Survey of working life 2018, conducted between October and December 2018, asked employed people about their work arrangements, employment conditions, and satisfaction with their job and work-life balance. While most people were satisfied with their job, 4.3 percent of workers, or about 113,000 people, were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their main job.

“Having a job can boost a person’s well-being, while unemployment tends to have the opposite effect. However, the quality of the jobs people do and how satisfied they are with them are also crucial factors,” said labour market statistics manager Scott Ussher.

A lack of job security, low levels of autonomy, poor workplace relationships, and high levels of work-related stress are some of the job-related factors that were more evident in those who were dissatisfied. Poorer overall health status and mental wellbeing were also more prevalent among dissatisfied workers.

How satisfied is your team?

Understanding your team, their views, beliefs, and needs is the first step to improving job satisfaction.

How do you do this? Engage with the team. Use a blend of informal and formal engagement techniques to get to know your team. For example, work socials and events, team meetings, one-to-ones and Engagement / Culture Surveys – communication underpins all elements of leadership.  

Establishing areas of improvement will build confidence and therefore make it easier to utilise strengths and develop the workplace culture.

Engagement / Culture Surveys  

A highly engaged team is proven to boost productivity, motivation, decrease absenteeism and lower staff turnover.

Engagement / Culture Surveys provide team members with the opportunity to give open and honest feedback on the company’s people and processes.

Using this feedback, managers can identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. The changes they implement as a result are key to improving job satisfaction.

To ensure best practice, Engagement Surveys should be repeated regularly (6-12 months). This will allow managers to see if the change initiatives have been effective. The survey can also be used as a performance comparison tool with other companies in the same industry or sector.

Next steps

EQ Consultants’ HR Consultant and Engagement specialist, Chloe Jones recommends: “An engaged team is proven to drive company growth. Employers need to be attuned with their team if they want the best results for their business.

“As the latest figures from StatsNZ show, poor workplace relationships, work-related stress and mental well-being all correlate with a dissatisfied employee. Managers and decision-makers have a huge influence on the well-being and happiness of their employees, both within and outside the workplace.     

“Having the right tools and skills can support managers with making improvements. An Engagement and Culture Survey is a useful tool for managers who want to know where improvements can be made. The results then provide a basis for change and set a benchmark that can be worked towards in the future.”

More information about EQ Consultants' Engagement Surveys can be found here.

Alternatively, contact Chloe for an informal chat on 03 366 4034 or email


Back to Articles